The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo has new excitement buzzing at Red Panda Ridge, but who exactly are the four red pandas who now call this new habitat home?
The Zoo is home to two different species of red pandas, Chinese and Himalayan. Paula and Phayara are a mother and daughter pair of Chinese Red Pandas. Anne and Aurora are Himalayan Red Pandas, and share their habitat with the Zoo’s reeves’s muntjac, Zoji. As red pandas are naturally arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in trees and off the ground, Anne and Aurora can often be seen laying on tree branches or climbing up high! This is perfect for Zoji, who enjoys keeping all four legs on the ground, because everyone has the space they need just like how they would coexist in their natural habitats in Northern Asia. One of the two Himalayan red pandas, Anne, may be recognizable to guests as she has been with the Zoo since 2019 before being joined by her new companion Aurora. When trying to tell them apart, Anne has larger ears then Aurora. Himalayan red pandas and Chinese red pandas are very similar but can be differentiated by the more distinct tail rings on Chinese red pandas and the larger white fur patterns on Himalayan red pandas.
While each red panda is covered in red, white, and orange fur, our Animal Care Team has gotten to know their unique personalities. Watch out for some of these characteristics, and you may have an easier time spotting them.
Paula is known for her energetic spirit, working out her zoomies by running all the way up, down, and through her logs and perches. She is also the mother to Phayara, whom she shares her enclosure with.
The most laidback of the red pandas, Phayara is confident and fearless, investigating new objects and her surroundings without concern.
Aurora is a foodie who enjoys a range of options but especially apples. Although Aurora may be shy at first, she warms up quick when food is in the picture.
Anne has been with the Zoo the longest and has been making herself at home in her new space. Anne is the shyest of the group, and is usually spotted furthest from guests enjoying her space out of sight.
Next time you visit the Zoo, make sure to visit the new spaces in Red Panda Ridge and these new additions to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
Written by Miles Fedders, Communications Intern